Following the recent success at the Assembly election by Doug Beattie MC MLA and Alan Chambers MLA, the Ulster Unionist Party has announced that they will be replaced in their respective council positions by Julie Flaherty on Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council and David Chambers on Ards and North Down Borough Council.
Party Leader Mike Nesbitt MLA said:
“I am delighted to welcome David to the Party and look forward to working with him both as Party Leader and as an MLA for Strangford which overlaps David's council area. His father Alan has already proven himself a valuable member of our new MLA team.
“Julie has established herself as an essential member of our team in Upper Bann and has been the anchor of our Portadown operation.
“I wish both Julie and David every success as they commit to serve on the frontline of local government.”
Councillor Julie Flaherty said:
“It was said to me some time ago that there’s a reason why you meet people; either you need them to change your life or you’re the one who will change theirs. This sums up how I feel about the experience I have had since joining the Ulster Unionist Party and now becoming a Councillor for Portadown DEA on the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.
“A chance meeting with Jo-Anne Dobson MLA in the Royal Victoria Hospital for Sick Children was the beginning of an experience that has brought me from businesswoman, to mother, to campaigner and now into local government politics.
“I am looking forward to adding my experience to the strong Ulster Unionist Group on ABC Council. I have been a committed campaigner with the Children’s Heartbeat Trust and I am going to bring the same level of energy to representing the people of Portadown. I am also delighted to be increasing the level of female representatives in local politics.
“Our team was delighted to see Doug Beattie MC elected to the Northern Ireland Assembly and I am so pleased to now be able to accept the challenge of taking his place on the Council - I have big shoes to fill!
“I live in Portadown, I work in Portadown and I am now looking forward to working for Portadown. My intention is to make a change for its people.”
Councillor David Chambers said:
“I feel very honoured and privileged to have been co-opted to my father's seat which he had held for 25 years. For the past 20 years, I have followed local politics closely and been actively involved in my father's election campaigns.
“I recently joined the Ulster Unionist Party and I'm looking forward to the challenges that lie ahead for myself and the Party at all levels of politics.
“I will continue to deliver the same strong level of commitment and service that has gone before me and work for the best interests of the DEA.”